Putting Yourself Out There
I was a production/directing theatre major and as part of my education, I had to go out on stage. One time I was sent out in a full beard as Polonius in Hamlet, but that’s a story for another time. I hated being on stage, because like 90% of the population, I had stage fright. What if the audience thought I wasn’t good enough or I forgot my lines? I much preferred being behind the scenes doing everything from props to directing. Of course, deep down, I hoped that someone would “discover” me. But how could they? I was not stepping into the spotlight to be seen.
I guess wearing the beard on stage did change my perspective, because after you’ve done that – you can pretty much do anything. Somewhere along the line I realized that in order to be discovered I had to step out from behind the curtain. I also learned that it was easier to be me “on stage” then to try to be a character. Please note the word, be. Like, “to be or not to be, that is the question …”.
Hiding behind the curtain or keeping your art stored away for someday when you are “discovered” does not serve you. You have to get not only your work, but also yourself out there to sell your work. If a potential customer knows you, they are more likely to buy from you.
I can hear the excuses (see below). I’ve made the excuses, too. However, if you want to “be” a successful artist, you have to stop making excuses.
- My art isn’t good enough! It’s art and with it comes art critics. Some people are going to love it, some are going to not be interested in it, and in some cases, some people will hate it. Get over it. People are entitled to their opinions and for every one person who has something negative to say, there will be 9 people who have something nice to say and some who will even buy your art.
- I don’t have enough inventory. Less is sometimes more. I always think I won’t have enough to fill a space and I have more than I can use. Remember this is about stepping out onto stage, not necessarily about selling something (although it would be nice). You cannot be discovered if you are in your studio full time.
- It’s too much work to sell. Yeah, it can be work; however, it can also be fun – if you let it. Talk to your potential customers; find out what they are shopping for. Maybe it is something you left back in your studio and you can meet their needs. Or maybe you’ll get a commission.
If you are already doing arts & crafts shows or your work is in galleries, look for other opportunities to display your art work. What local businesses in your area have shelf or wall space that you could fill? The more your potential customers see of your work, the more likely they will buy from you.
Get online; at minimum have a store front to send people to. Etsy.com or other targeted gallery sites like PotteryDaily.com are a low cost way for customers to reach you.
It’s time to turn the spotlight on and step out onto the stage . . . remember that you will not be discovered waiting in the wings.
© 2010 Heather C. Morrow. All rights reserved
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Heather C. Morrow, owner of Pottery Daily, helps emerging artists express their true value and get paid what they are worth. Her products and services show you how to make more money, save more time while enjoying the freedom in your art. For your FREE audio go to www.marketandsellyourart.com.